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Moonlighting | Cypress Semiconductor

Moonlighting

I'm moonlighting this month. Literally and figuratively, I suppose. It's halloween and time for my annual (unpaid) software development projects. Get it? Halloween and moonlighting! Never mind.

Anyway, every year, a  friend of mine by the name of Oscar puts on a lavish Halloween party featuring all manner of ghostly props, industrial lasers, an excess of 80s music, and fair sprinkling of assorted pyrotechnics. I'm usually asked to help and, since he serves my favourite beer (i.e. free beer), I'm more than happy to write a bit of firmware to control some of the props.

One of the perks of working for Cypress is free (that favourite word again) access to hardware; in this case pre-release PSoC 3 FirstTouch kits. These old boards are no use to man nor beast - but are totally invaluable to the un-dead. This year has a proximity detection flavour and I'm working on the "sparky" project. Sparky is a full-sized man, with a schedule 40 (lawn irrigation) pipe skeleton, who wears prison clothing and sits in an electric chair with what looks suspiciously like a sieve from Oscar's Mum's kitchen on his head. It's more effective than it sounds (after it goes dark and the Jell-O shot count goes up) and my job is to high-tech him up bit.

It turns out that Sparky is a big hit with the girls. It's that wierd prison inmate infatuation thing I guess. Whatever the reason, they just cannot resist sitting in his lap and trying to cheer the poor chap up. This time around, they're the ones who might get the shock. No, I'm not going to use PSoC to fry the guests (maybe just one or two).

A PSoC 3 kit, discretely stashed in his pants where Sparky has, shall we say, more room than tghe rest of us should be the perfect way to detect an incoming bottom. Wait a second or two, just so they're comfortable, then boom, on go the lights and sounds. Bright red LEDs will flash under the helmet, a panic-inducing strobe will go off, and booming klaxon sound should do the trick.

Marvellous stuff! I'm still figuring out how to sync up a camera with all this but I'll fix it somehow. A full report will follow in a couple of weeks...

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